Why Was Voter Turnout So Low for California’s Presidential Primary?

Twenty-one percent of California’s registered voters turned out to vote for Tuesday’s presidential primary, according to the latest data from the state.

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Meaning as of Friday afternoon, among 22 million registered voters around the state, around 4.5 million submitted a ballot.

That would make this election the lowest registered voter turnout in presidential primaries since 2004.

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The highest turnout was 58% in 2008 — the first year Barack Obama was on the ballot for the Democratic party.

While all nine Bay Area counties saw a drop in voter turnout, Alameda County saw the lowest turnout at 10.5% — a decline of 41 percentage points from 2020’s presidential primary.

Solano County saw the highest turnout among the nine counties at 30%.

However, there are still millions of ballots that still need to be counted through mail. California takes a little over a month to certify the election, according to Alan Minsky, the head of the national group Progressive Democrats of America. (Although how the state “can take a month to report its votes is beyond me,” said Minksy, referring to California’s status as the home of Silicon Valley.)

What’s behind the low turnout?

Paul Mitchell — vice president of Political Data, a bipartisan organization that analyzes voter data — said he predicted that turnout in this election would be low. “The data showed that the electorate was old, white and more conservative,” he said.

“When we look at elections, there’s always two components to turnout,” Mitchell explained. “The first is mechanical: How do you register to vote? How do you stay registered? How do you get a ballot? How do you return your ballot?”

Mitchell compared this year’s lackluster turnout to the previous low of 31% in the 2012 June presidential primary – when Obama was running for reelection against Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Click here to read the full article in KQED


  1. Scarlet Pimpernel says

    It was because there was no covid and it was harder to cheat.

  2. Wouldn’t be for the CORRUPTION and SOCIALISTS running the State of CA???? NOR New-Scum Devil???

  3. probably because we KNOW the communist fascist racist satanic democrats will lock republican observers out of the counting areas, dump all Trump winning ballots in the ’round file’, and haul in truck fulls of ILLEGAL ballots to count for the communist party. Why? because nobody in the GOP, the judicial system, or in the law enforcement system took this seriously in 2020!!!! SO…..why should people waste their time knowing what’s going to happen with their vote?? As for me, I ALWAYS vote in person, and for TRUMP!!!

  4. Terry Ramus says

    Maybe it is the sham CA elections that takes a month to play with the vote count as they “find more ballots” after election day? The rest of the Super Tuesday States counted quickly like was the norm for decades. The CA State wastes billions in taxes on special interests, ruins the State with crime and a sham legal system, drives business out of the State and constantly plays politics.

  5. But doesn’t this show, if we show up we can actually get this state back on track?

  6. Otis R. Needleman says

    Because people are losing confidence that elections here are free and fair.

    • DENNIS WOLLEN says





  7. Casual Observer says

    The author is premature announcing voter turnout rates because counties only report how many votes have been counted. Statewide through Mar 08, the turnout is 24.4% and they are still counting. His report is through Mar 07.

    We need a “Voter’s Confidence Act”. 99% of the votes should be counted within 48 hours after the polls close.

  8. The State of Kalif. is turning into a 3rd world State while a good portion of the Dem. controlled states are seeing the same thing happen.

    Could it be suddenly the destruction of the economy is starting to hit home? Could it be the fraud in attacking Republicans in courts is finally waking up the democrat base? How much can the Dem’s attack and destroy the capitalist base that creates wealth before the rest of the idiots voting D get it?

    The Senate votes to allow illegals to vote and then piles on allowing the same illegals to be counted for house seats…..


  9. I found out that by midnight last Tuesday, 14 of the 15 states that had elections, the ballots were all counted. Of course California is the 15th. They say as long as the absentee ballots are postmarked by 8 o’clock on Tuesday the fifth and received by 5 o’clock on Monday the 11th, that being today, the votes will be counted. Who is to stop anybody that has a meter stamp from seeing that The measure that Newsom vigorously campaigned on wanting a yes, whatever the results were as of yesterday, the 10th, all these meter stamps could go out with the date of the fifth and be received by today at 5 o’clock and be counted. The cheating or the possibility of cheating just never stops. We need to get fair elections again. Neither 2020 nor 2022 were fair. But that is what the fast majority of Californians want. Or at least those Californians that live within 20 miles of the coast. That is, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Marin county, I think it’s time to start having fair elections. This is not the Daley political machine of Chicago or the Kennedy political machine going back to the 40s, But it surely seems that way

  10. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    Many conservatives do not believe that “Communist” California offers fair elections, so they don’t bother to vote. When they do vote, it’s often a choice between a RINO or Democrat – and that turns them off, too.

    In November, having Donald Trump and Steve Garvey on the ballot might increase turnout.

  11. I read the whole article. Alan Minsky head of Progressive Democrats of America. Another Dem with TDS.

  12. George Miller says

    Well, Biden and Trump were both slam-dunks to win the primary- and Biden would win in November in CA for sure and Trump would lose there.. Biden is quite unpopular. So, most people felt no real need to go, since it would make little difference.

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